Pompeo Demands Return of Bob Levinson, US Citizen Kidnapped by Iranians in 2007
Marking the thirteenth anniversary of the seizure and disappearance in Iran of US citizen Robert Levinson, the State Department peremptorily dismissed the Tehran’s regime claim to have no knowledge of his whereabouts.
“For 13 years, the Iranian government has denied knowledge of his whereabouts or condition, a claim that defies credibility,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement about the plight of Levinson — who is Jewish — on Monday.
A retired FBI agent from the Miami area who was working as a private contractor, Levinson was kidnapped on the Iranian island of Kish in the Persian Gulf on March 9, 2007, and is now the longest-held American captive in history.
“Mr. Levinson’s family, including grandchildren he has never met, has borne an unimaginable burden of uncertainty and hardship throughout this time,” Pompeo said.
The secretary of state emphasized that Iran “must honor the commitment it has made to work with the United States for Mr. Levinson’s return. International norms, respect for human rights, and basic human decency demand no less.”
Pompeo added that returning “all Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad is President [Donald] Trump’s top priority. We will work until Bob Levinson and all US hostages and wrongful detainees come home.”
The State Department continues to offer a $20 million reward for information on Levinson.
Reliable information on his condition was last received in 2011, when an anonymous source inside Iran sent photos of Levinson to his family in the US.